LAGRANGE – LaGrange County’s Major Moves committee recommended a grant for the Lagrange County Trails project and a loan to the Howe Fire Department Monday morning.
The trails group sought up to $1.5 million dollars as a grant to serve as the match for a Next Level Trails grant from the state.
They’ve proposed a trail from Wolcottville to Topeka that would eventually link up with the Fishing Line Trail in Noble County and the Town of Millersburg in Elkhart County.
Dan Yoder – a member of the Trails group board of directors – said safety is a major benefit of the proposed trail.
"700 (South) is a hilly road. The speed limit's come down to 45 (MPH) but people still fly through there in the morning and the evening. I'm one of the guys that ride a bike to work in Topeka. Twenty to thirty cars fly around me per mile and they don't give you a lot of room. They're either distracted with cell phones or in a daze going to work. And it's the same way in the afternoon."
Sheryl Rhinesmith says the group has endorsements from many organizations and companies in the county.
The committee voted to recommend the project to the County Council and Commissioners without specifying a dollar amount.
Howe Fire Department asked for a $150-thousand dollar grant to help fund the purchase of a new pumper truck. The committee gave a favorable recommendation, but as a loan rather than a grant.
It takes at least 8 votes of support out of ten members of the joint council and commissioners to authorize Major Moves spending. The issue could come up if the boards hold a joint meeting in March.
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